These days, companies who want to be competitive in their industry must apply strategic tools to uncover more reliable insights of the future business environment, in order to take the necessary market place positioning and adopt meaningful strategies to take them into the future. As part of this they also have to reinforce their innovation capacities in order to differentiate themselves from others and bring new value to themselves and their customers. This means embracing strategic management as a primary role and responsibility of management. Strategic management consultancies play an important role here as an external resource for the management to augment their organic strategic management capabilities. Strategic management consultants bring process expertise, fresh eyes and impartial objectivity to the table, not to mention their role as devil’s advocates to raise and address issues that management may otherwise tend or try to avoid.
Strategic Management Tasks
Strategic management tasks include managing deliberate strategies by describing, detailing and dedicating a plan of action that articulates the strategy. This is where managers will plan, execute, control and close out strategies. Companies develop strategies to achieve desired outcomes and realize the benefits. Managers are the internal consultants who take the company through the process. They must have a rigorous and continuous process to take strategies from creation to full implementation and derive the benefits to the company from their implementation. They need to have appropriate measures of success, a robust feedback process to acquire these measurements, and a system to track it all and trigger corrective or supplementary actions necessary to keep the strategies on track and ensure their effectiveness in getting the company to its strategic objective.
Many internal managers do not have the necessary skills to take on this role as internal strategic management consultant. Very few managers are trained to do so, and even among those who have some sort of training, they lack the real world strategic management experience to take on the critical tasks. This is not surprising, as in the first place managers are usually hired for their operational skills, and strategic management skills are usually just an afterthought. This is where the external strategic management consultant comes in, who is not only well trained in all these but applies their strategic management capabilities as their full time job.